Purchasable Mixtape review-Thirst 48 p. 2 by Boogie
In a Billboard interview about his new project Boogie was asked,
Q:Is “Two Days” about her, too?
A: Yeah, definitely. Every relationship song on that ‘tape is about her.
By her, he means Jamesha a very specific person he has an on and off relationship with and Thirst 48 p.2 is a vividly unique journey because it covers that turmoil in depth with blame distributed much more equitably than we are used to rappers giving us.
I’m not sure if anyone else does this but whenever I hear a rapper proclaim that they never have sex with a woman more than once I suck my teeth. C’mon. Not only is that a farce and we all know you have feelings and need relationships like we all do…it’s a boring story to tell. I would much rather feel for characters that make rational decisions. Never having any relationship of any depth is not a rational decision.
Thirst 48 P.2 is about Jamesha and while it gives you the frustration of dealing with one another in the immaculately constructed Two Days and the stewing paranoia of Real One he goes just as hard on Prideful and the closer Best Friend (Jamesha pt.2) to illustrate how grateful he is for her. Boogie takes his time painting parts of the picture on each song.
The cool thing about it is Thirst 48 P.2 is not an overly intense listening experience. It is very fun hearing Mozzy and Dj Quik just blow on Fuck ‘Em All or rocking out with the ice-in-my-veins playa anthem Just Might. Whenever the day is sunnier or brighter than anticipated you can put on Sunroof and listen to Dana Williams weave her voice into Boogie’s on the projects best hook (TQ would approve). Amongst all this Boogie raps his @$$ off! On Sunroof for example “I got your intention now it’s my intention to take all that tension and sh_t not to mention…” it feeds right into the hook. While making sure his hooks and melodies are on point he never fails to craft his verses in challenging ways with real content.
The cool thing about it is Thirst 48 P.2 is not an overly intense listening experience. It is very fun hearing Mozzy and Dj Quik just blow on Fuck ‘Em All or rocking out with the ice-in-my-veins playa anthem Just Might. Whenever the day is sunnier or brighter than people anticipated you can put on Sunroof and listen to Dana Williams weave her voice into Boogie’s on the projects best hook (TQ would applaud). Amongst all this Boogie raps his @$$ off! On Sunroof for example “I got your intention now it’s my intention to take all that tension and sh_t not to mention…” it feeds right into the hook. While making sure his hooks and melodies are on point he never fails to craft his verses in challenging ways with real content.
Thirst 48 P.2 is much closer to how a real relationship feels than most albums that have attempted this (I love Twenty88 so I’m not talking about that) because it travels in all the places a relationship takes you. On Just Might or Slide on You he gets scummy, on Two Days he laments erased comments, unfollowing on social media, and text lag time in a way we all understand. The outwardly appreciative songs don’t do a better job of showing how much he cares about Jamesha than the angry ones. No one gets this out of sorts about someone unless they mean a lot. It’s all connected and the production from Swiff D, C. Ballin and Keyel keeps the project totally entrenched in post-TDE West Coast sonics where each note strikes and holds for a second before leaving, while Boogie keeps things loose smart and heartfelt. Listen to Thirst 48 pt. 2.
Stream and purchase below:
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Tagged Billboard, Boogie, C.Ballin, Dana Williams, DJ Quik, Jamesha, Keyel, Mozzy, Spinrilla, Swiff D, TDE, Thirst 48 P.2, Twenty88, west coast hip hop
How audiomack links taught me to relax and embrace Dom Kennedy p.1
The first thing I ever knew about LA MC Dom Kennedy was EVERYONE loves this guy. He features on SchoolBoy Q’s album, Freddie Gibbs mixtape, Smoke Dza takes time to rap about conversations with Dom that changed his life. Curren$y does the same on just about every project. Dom scores a Kendrick Lamar feature for the song We Ball off his Yellow Album mixtape that drops 4 months before Good Kid, Maad City. I just assumed this was one of those bad rappers who is also an awesome person and everyone loves…so they give him a verse. Why did I think of him as bad? His flow is outrageously stunted and off beat like an old parent remembering something in chunks and his verses are about things that don’t make any coherent picture (he loves rhyming the same word off itself over and over)…or didn’t until recently. Sometimes it takes time for me to understand the appeal of an artist and here are the projects that helped me with that.
From The Westside with Love
As much as Dom clearly looks up to the pimpish precision of DJ Quik he’s different. From The Westside with Love is one of the most affectionate mixtapes in the last five or ten years. All the production credits you’ll find for Dom Kennedy projects are ahead of their time. On this one the recognizable names, Hit Boy and BrandUn DeShay, are ones you wouldn’t have been that interested in circa 2010. This is part of the reason why all his mixtapes seem so crisp years later.
A Leimert Park Song provides exact explanation for the oddness of Dom. “The game need me cause this affectionate. Not just a bunch of N’s wanting Tech’s and shi#t. Not just a bunch of N’s wanting sex and sh#t. Dissing the same N’s that they texting with.” While he shouts out Ice Cube, 2pac and all the gods of West Coast he brings a warm and casual vibe to his music. On the opening track In Memory Of he compares this music to Tribe Called Quest which is an interesting comparison. Q-Tip was one of the first cool rappers to appeal directly to women in verses without sounding corny. Q-Tip would love the pulsating conversational Home Alone where he’s able to specify breakfast while sounding evocative “I like toast in the morning, you need to know that in case you close in the morning.”
West Coast hip hop can seem like the movie 300 from far away. If you go straight from Ice T to Jay Rock (no shots I own everything by both those dudes); which is what makes From The Westside with Love so cool its filled with trunk rattling funk and love. Loving recollections of hearing Run-DMC for the first time, loving shout outs to Leimert Park where he’s from and all the women who have sex with him. Which I appreciate; too often rappers run down the people who have sex with them. Dom sends out love like he doesn’t have time to hate and its infectious.
Stream or Download From The Westside with Love below:
Stay tuned next week keyboard Jedi as part 2 of my Dom Kennedy breakdown continues!!!!!!
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Tagged audiomack, Brandun Deshay, DJ Quik, Dom Kennedy, From The Westside with Love, Hit Boy, Jay Rock, LA hip hop, Leimert Park, Pimp Rap, Q-Tip, Run-DMC, Smoke Dza, Tribe Called Quest, west coast hip hop
Song of The Year-Life Jacket by DJ Quik featuring Dom Kennedy and Suga Free
The Midnight Life might be the surest buy in hip hop this year. If you were anticipating a bigger and wilder event album from one of the architects of the west coast hip hop sound you got it. Last year’s Book Of David was great but this is superb. Quik is reckless with his beats incorporating new things and challenging what we think he can do(like Sherlock Holmes showing off), at the same time he brings guests on nine of the sixteen tracks because he loves the challenge. The better the guest the more excited he seems to deliver his verse. If feeling disrespected is the fuel Quik needs to sound like this I hope we get several years of him feeling that way (after that go and be happy sir, you deserve it).
This song could not be more pimpish starting from the funky soulful Troutman tinged beat. DJ Quik brags that he produced for Whitney and Janet. Dom Kennedy brags about reading a lot and wishes Etta James a great journey in the hereafter. Suga Free isn’t the one of a kind talent of his pimp rap bible Street Gospel but his crazy talk is still marvelous. A great group track raises the stock of all involved and when I heard this was the lead single that made perfect sense. It’s offensively pimpish and if that turns you away from it you don’t want any part of The Midnight Life but if you loved Quik at his best its money well spent.
Mixtape Review-Stalley-Honest Cowboy
Picture rap music as a classroom containing all the personalities we are familiar with. The pretty boy who writes poetry in his free time, the goon who picks a fight every few days just to feel healthy, the smart kid everyone copies off of, the trashy chick the guys pretend not to like…and that dude in the back who barely talks to anyone. He keeps his head in his notebook and draws cars, lightning bolts, anything to pass the time. That dude is Stalley.
If you listen to his new mixtape Honest Cowboy you can hear how separated he feels from everyone else. Someone pointed out to Stalley on twitter that all his dreams of wealth end up with him alone in a peaceful location. He laughed but the point is not just apt, it’s central to Honest Cowboy. As he says “Made money from being honest and these fake N’s hate it, that a real N made it, offa no favors now I’m in a farmhouse far out with no neighbors,” on the triumphant Samson (which reunites Stalley with his soul mate producer Rashad) you can’t help but be struck by how unique the image is. What rapper brags about being on a farmhouse or having no neighbors? How many times have you heard obscene nonsense brags from rappers to the effect of NOW CALIGULA IS MY NEIGHBOR! Stalley wants a life outside of rap and to be left alone; in a lot of ways this is what characterizes his relationship with the critics and fans. Everyone knows he doesn’t fit and even more important than that everyone knows he doesn’t want to fit.
As well as his tribute to Big Moe and the Houston sound on Swangin’ goes he’s not Big Krit. It wouldn’t make sense for Stalley to place himself as a UGK descendent because his Blue Collar Gang mentality doesn’t allow him to fully floss on tracks. Speaking of Swangin’ it features an engaging verse from Scarface. On a track designed as Stalley’s tribute to Houston hip hop (produced by the Block Beataz) Scarface laces a pointed perspective on the early days and how things have changed, how the sound has spread.
As an author Stalley is smart enough to go “conscious” and elements of militancy pop up, as on Long Way Down (also on Raise Your Weapons) “Black mask black gloves a hood terrorist intelligent psychopaths the worlds scared of us, the skin of a million slaves…” but they are interspersed. Stalley doesn’t want to be the kid the teacher always looks for to give the answers to the class. I want to be clear I like this mixtape a great deal, it’s riding music with a ton of personal post script. Every beat is gorgeous, especially the amazing Cardo and Dj Quik piano construction Spaceships and Woodgrain, Stalley is in an elite class of beat picking. Whether it’s Block Beataz, Rashad, Black Diamond, or Soundtrakk he’ll make sure it rattles your trunk. I haven’t heard a bad beat on a Stalley project and Honest Cowboy won’t give you one.
So the question for him is always, where is his head at? This is his most honest record. The moment when he says “I came for the money and not for the fame,” on Feel The Bass is a memo to all of us. Not long after that rhyme he’s riding alone in his vehicle inviting his audience to follow him home but watch from a distance. Anyone who tells you he doesn’t fit on Maybach as an artist is totally missing the point. He’s one of the most remarkable X-factors in rap, isn’t it possible that the more he doesn’t fit…the better he will get?
Stream or Download Honest Cowboy below:
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Tagged Block Beattaz, Cardo, DJ Booth, DJ Quik, hip hop, Honest Cowboy, Maybach Music, mixtape review, Rashad, review, scarface, Stalley
Warm Brew-The Ride Mixtape Review
I have almost reviewed Warm Brew a lot. When they dropped Kottabos last year it was summer music I couldn’t get a way from, good enough to jam but it seemed like it was missing something. One of those projects that’s right on the line between not good enough to write up and definitely good enough. The crew knew how to project deep atmosphere into tracks but on this years summer outing (The Ride) they pulled all the loose ends together.
First glance at the cover photo brought me right back to one of my favorite albums, Quik is the Name. It’s a special debut from DJ Quik and the last time his focus was on fun, drinking, sex, and craps not death and betrayal. This laid back west coast 1991 party vibe is the building blocks behind The Ride. The first two tracks (Good Morning and the title track) have that familiar west coast soft bass, snapping synthesizer and luscious Nate Dogg-ian hooks. When I call Warm Brew masters of atmosphere I mean that these songs just wash over you.
It’s possible to not even really attend the lyrical content until the wildly fun burbling track Muncheez name-checks enough food (grilled onions fries and extra cheese) to get your stomach rumbling.
Just because they make music to put you in a zone doesn’t mean Warm Brew can’t rap. They make a point to prove it on This and That, first explaining that they have heard the critique that they “can’t rap” before busting out a conventional chest beating rap roar for two minutes and thirty five seconds. It’s good to know they care but as long as Teqnitionz and Al B Smoov can keep making sublime summer music like You Can Roll, as long as Warm Brew can keep riding these beats seamlessly I’ll get my lyrical vitamins elsewhere.
Teqnitionz does get the production MVP nod simply for Man with The Horn, the most beautiful sonic moment on the tape and one of the best this year. The verses flow together and the chemistry in the music seems intensely California; tricking you into relaxing into it while the imagery gets violent and desperate, the beauty of the environment in direct contradiction to its dead end possibilities.
Being all of sixteen tracks you can hear a little bit of transition in the last five or six songs. Tracks like Danny Dee’s Loungin feel more like Little Brother than DJ Quik but the combination of the two sounds forms an interesting hybrid.
The Ride is a mixtape you can put on in your vehicle, roll down the windows, and feel the sun on your face with. I’m not always a believer in attaching music to seasons but Warm Brew is definitely a summer experience. This mixtape makes me want to go over my friend’s house and queue up a boom box while we shoot hoops. It’s refreshing because it not only takes its vibe seriously, it salutes in a very specific way an early 90’s west coast sound that changed the world. It’s great to know that sound still has descendants.
Feel free to stream or download The Ride below:
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Tagged Al B Smoov, Danny Dee, DJ Booth, DJ Quik, Kottabos, mixtape reviews, Quik is The Name, Teqnitionz, The Ride, Warm Brew, west coast hip hop